Clutch Adjustment Question on my new 2018 Vstrom 1000 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Clutch Adjustment Question on my new 2018 Vstrom 1000

Hello Everyone!

My name is Vinnie and I a proud new Vstrom 1000 XT owner, as of Friday of last week. I do a lot of riding... Usually around 25,000 miles per year. I'm really excited to get some miles on my Vstrom!

I have a question for you all, as I am not familiar with the Vstrom yet and didn't have a chance to get the service manual.

When I start the bike in first gear, and the clutch pulled in, I notice that the bike wants to move forward (and will lurch forward if I'm not careful). I also noticed that the bike is difficult to roll with the clutch lever pulled in all the way and the bike is in gear, but easy when in neutral.

I assume that the clutch is not fully disengaging and wasn't set up properly at the dealership (out of state). Any advice on how to make this adjustment? I searched for this information, but only found a 10 year old thread.


Thanks,
Vinnie
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 04:55 PM
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Vinnie, your hydraulic clutch is the same system that has been used since 2002. The only real difference in the actual clutch working parts is the internal hub/slipper assembly. The hydraulic clutch is self adjusting. There will always be drag on the bike when trying to move it in gear with the clutch pulled in. However, there really should be no real forward movement when putting the bike into first gear from neutral with engine running. Might make some noise and shake the bike, but you should not have to keep a hand on the brake lever.

There have been some complaints on the newer model DL 1000's about the clutch not fully disengaging. Which sounds like what you are experiencing. Nothing the dealer did or didn't do beyond maybe the tech should have noticed this when/if they looked at the bike when you took it home.

Since it is new you could take it back to the dealer. They will probably try to say "they all do that" and not want to work on it. Better yet, do some work on it yourself! I would try bleeding the clutch hydraulic system very well. In many cases this is all that is needed.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
Vinnie, your hydraulic clutch is the same system that has been used since 2002. The only real difference in the actual clutch working parts is the internal hub/slipper assembly. The hydraulic clutch is self adjusting. There will always be drag on the bike when trying to move it in gear with the clutch pulled in. However, there really should be no real forward movement when putting the bike into first gear from neutral with engine running. Might make some noise and shake the bike, but you should not have to keep a hand on the brake lever.

There have been some complaints on the newer model DL 1000's about the clutch not fully disengaging. Which sounds like what you are experiencing. Nothing the dealer did or didn't do beyond maybe the tech should have noticed this when/if they looked at the bike when you took it home.

Since it is new you could take it back to the dealer. They will probably try to say "they all do that" and not want to work on it. Better yet, do some work on it yourself! I would try bleeding the clutch hydraulic system very well. In many cases this is all that is needed.
Thank you for the quick response. I live 3 hours away from that dealership and I am pretty sure they would say exactly what you said. I will have to look up how to bleed the hydraulic clutch system, if this persists. I wouldn't have noticed it that much, if it weren't for the fact that the bike wants to roll forward, when I start the bike and it's in 1st gear with the clutch pulled in.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 06:59 PM
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Bleeding is easy. Although a second person is very helpful.

Have your helper pull the clutch handle and hold pressure. Then you open the bleed valve to vent the pressure (preferably into a tube to a catch pan/cup). Be advised that brake fluid is very aggressive and will destroy nearly any finish it is left on (especially paint). Your helper should continue to apply pressure and bottom out the handle, then HOLD it there until you close the bleed valve. Then the helper can release the clutch handle. This is to ensure that no air gets sucked back in from the bottom. Generally I wait a few seconds and the repeat. Keep doing this until no air spittles out of the bleed valve. Or if you don't detect air bubbles, do it enough to drive the enough of the clutch fluid through and out to clear any air. Be sure not to let the level of the clutch fluid get to low in the reservoir or you will suck air in from the top. Be sure to only use the exact type of brake fluid that is indicated on the cap to the reservoir, or there can be big trouble. It is also generally recommended that you only use a freshly opened bottle of fluid. The idea being that brake fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere quite easily and that is what makes it oxidize and change color. So opened (foil seal removed) brake fluid stored on the shelf can be almost as "old" as brake fluid in the bike.

As I understood it though, the clutch master cylinder (clutch handle) is designed so that it is open at rest and any air in the top of the line should self bleed back into the reservoir. And since the entire line is "uphill" to the reservoir, the majority should come out by itself. Although there may be an air pocket inside the slave cylinder. I could be totally wrong about the self bleeding nature of the master cylinder though...

Is it possible that the clutch is just so new that it hasn't worn/smoothed in enough yet? I vaguely remember my clutch being quite grabby when it was new as well. I just made sure to hold the brake (although probably not necessary) when kicking it into gear. It did get better. Although even now with 13,000 miles I still put it in neutral if I need to push it around out of a tricky parking situation (loose gravel, slope, bumps, etc.), because it still grips a tiny bit with the clutch pulled in. Engine on or engine off, it will still have less resistance in neutral.

You will also find that the behavior of your clutch changes as your oil ages. Then when you change it out, it is nice and smooth again...
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 07:30 PM
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Vinnie, just asking, but did you by chance adjust your clutch lever position? It's possible that at one of the lower settings your clutch is not disengaging completely.
Does this clutch drag happen when cold and is fine after warm-up?
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 07:43 PM
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Hmm.. on my 2014, I have the lever set to the closest-to-the-bar position and I typically use 2 fingers on the clutch, so the lever is pretty far from the bar while I shift into 1st. It will "jump" forward and inch or two, but every bike I've ever owned had done this. If I come to a stop and stay in 1st with the lever squeezed in half way, it's enough to disengage the clutch.
Now, there might be a bit of drag, but not so much that the bike will move.
This bike does have a long friction zone, but if you're pulling the lever all the way to the bar and it's still not disengaging, something is off.

As has been asked, does this happen when the bike is warmed up too? When cold, it's normal for the bike to not move around freely, with the engine off in 1st gear and clutch in. When fully warmed up, 1st gear + engine off + clutch fully in > should move quite freely.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-25-2018, 11:50 PM
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You do not state how many miles you have up yet but this is normal for V-Stroms. It will become less obvious with mileage. It is always worst when the bike is cold and worse still in cold environments.
It can be managed by experimenting with different brands of oil, or even by changing from 10w40 to 5w40 if you are in a cold climate.

"When should you use 5w 40?
At operating temperatures, both oils will have the same viscosity (40) and will flow and protect identically. If the oil will be in the engine during winter and you live in a place where it gets cold during these months, use 5w40 oil. If it will only be in the engine during the summer, use 10w40."
Please complete your User CP/Profile as it helps people who offer suggestions.

2010 Weestrom; 2017 Kawasaki Versys-X300; 1988 Suzuki GSXR1100
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-26-2018, 12:51 AM
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Sounds just like my '14 has been all its life. There will always be some drag on the multi-plate wet clutch, especially before the engine starts turning. I never intentionally start mine in gear due to the lurch on start-up and the extra load on the starter. On mine, there's also a big clunk going into first, more pronounced the first time after starting. While the V2 is probably the worst, all of my bikes do/have done this except for the DR650, which for some reason usually has no sound or clunk going into first.

If you want to minimize the effect, you may be able to break apart the clutch plates before starting by rocking the bike in gear with the clutch pulled in until the bike moves.
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-Gary
2014 V-Strom 1000 - Desert Khaki
2016 GSX-S1000FA
2012 DR650SE
2011 Burgman 400
2007 Honda Helix
2013 V-Strom 650 - sold
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